Stocks: PGN, SCG, FPL and EAS CHICAGO, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As the economy recovers, businesses across the country will require more energy to increase production. Timothy Winter, 5-Star analyst from A.G. Edwards, gives investors his insight into the sector and which companies are the best bets for 2002. http://www.allstarpicks.zacks.com (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010924/CGM015LOGO ) Here are the details on Analyst Timothy Winter's Stock Picks for today: Progress Energy Inc. (NYSE: PGN) is a holding company engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in portions of the Carolinas and Florida, as well as the transport, distribution and sale of natural gas in portions of North Carolina. The Company has acquired Florida Progress Corporation (FPC), a diversified electric utility holding company. Florida Power, FPC's largest subsidiary, is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. The company expects to grow its business 5% plus per year after these merger synergies are achieved. Winter feels this company should add to its earning growth and expects EPS in 2002 to be $4.00 and increase to $4.25 in 2003. His 12-month price target is $54. Scana Corp. (NYSE: SCG) is registered as a public utility holding company. SCG neither owns nor operates any physical properties, and has 11 direct, wholly owned subsidiaries that are engaged in functionally distinct operations. With a secure dividend and growing business, Winter expects EPS to be $2.45 in 2002, up from $2.15 in 2001 and growing to $2.60 in 2003. Although SCG is trading at its 52-week high, Timothy expects the 12-month price target to be 10% greater at $34. FPL Group Inc. (NYSE: FPL): Florida Power & Light Co. (FP&L Co.) a wholly owned subsidiary of FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) is among the largest and fastest growing electric utilities companies in the United States. Winter likes the strength and stability of Florida Power & Light Co. and the generally supportive regulatory environment. Operational excellence is evidenced by 10 consecutive years of declining operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses, which are down 40% since 1990. The estimated EPS for 2002 is $4.85 and $5.25 for 2003 as FPL adds more customers through its expansion program. Energy East (NYSE: EAS): The company's principal energy delivery business is transmitting and distributing electricity in New York and Maine and transporting, storing and distributing natural gas in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Since EAS doesn't generate electricity, but is a regulated distributor, Winter believes they will benefit by a recovering economy and through recent consolidations throughout the Northeast. He feels this is a low risk stock that pays a handsome $.96 dividend and expects that to grow between 4%-5% per year. EPS estimates in 2002 are $1.60 and are expected to increase to $1.90 in 2003. This earnings and dividend growth make EAS a conservative choice with a 12-month price target around $23. To read the entire article with Timothy's sector commentary, go to http://www.allstarpicks2.Zacks.com . About Zacks All Star Analyst Survey Do you want to know which brokerage analysts are the best stock pickers in their field and what stock they're recommending today? Find out with the Zacks All Star Analyst survey. This exclusive survey, created with Fortune Magazine, reveals the "Best- of-Breed" brokerage analysts. They are the select group of winners from a field of 5,500 brokerage analysts - the ones who consistently beat the street - the few you should be following. Visit http://www.allstarhome.zacks.com . 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Our goal is to unlock their profitable insights for our customers. And there is no better way to enjoy this investment success, then with a FREE subscription to "Profit from the Pros" weekly e-mail newsletter. For your free newsletter, visit http://www.freeprofit4.zacks.com . Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates. Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security. CONTACT: Terry Batey of Zacks.com, 312-630-9880, ext. 307, firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.Zacks.com MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X84044175 SOURCE Zacks Investment Research -0- 04/18/2002 /CONTACT: Terry Batey of Zacks.com, +1-312-630-9880, ext. 307, email@example.com / /Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010924/CGM015LOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840/ /Web site: http://www.zacks.com http://www.allstarpicks.zacks.com http://www.allstarpicks2.Zacks.com http://www.allstarhome.zacks.com http://www.freeprofit3.zacks.com http://www.freeprofit4.zacks.com / (PGN SCG FPL EAS) CO: Zacks Investment Research; Zacks.com; Progress Energy Inc.; Scana Corp.; FPL Group Inc.; FPL Group; Energy East ST: Illinois IN: FIN PUB MAG SU: -0- Apr/18/2002 10:02 GMT
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